Greg Proops is a horrendously funny man. His self-styled Smartest Man In The World podcast is chock full of savage wit, baseball, movies, pop culture,Greg Proops is a horrendously funny man. His self-styled Smartest Man In The World podcast is chock full of savage wit, baseball, movies, pop culture, politics and the sound of a middle-class white dude railing against the world. The Smartest Book In The World covers much of the same ground and is none the worse for that.
This book is like wandering through the canyons of Proops' mind. It is full of his preoccupations, passions and written in such a way that you can, if you've ever heard him, hear his voice in your head. But in a good way, not a psychotic way. Ahem.
Yes, there is a LOT of baseball, which Proops acknowledges in the afterword, but it's informative and shows his love for the sport. However, maybe one too many fictional Baseball teams?
There is poetry here, art too. Movies and books too. Proops loves classic cinema and here we get short chapters on Sidney Lumet and Foreign Film amongst others. History is thrown into the mix and we get potted histories of Caesar and Alexander the Great.
If you know of Proops you'll love this book. If you don't, crack open a bottle of vodka-flavoured vodka, put your feet up and luxuriate in the ramblings of one of the world's best comics. You won't regret it....more
The late Pete McCarthy was a staple of TV and radio comedy throughout the 80's and 90's but it was with this travel book that he finally found real faThe late Pete McCarthy was a staple of TV and radio comedy throughout the 80's and 90's but it was with this travel book that he finally found real fame. A chronicle of his travels around Ireland in search of.....well he's not really sure himself. A sense of belonging? A search for his Irish roots? Whatever it is, he tells the tale with great good humour and a fine eye for the absurdities of Irish life.
Travelling around in an old blue Volvo with no real plan other than to sample Singapore noodles in as many Irish towns as possible, McCarthy encounters a strange mix of the old Ireland and the new Celtic Tiger Ireland (this was published in 2000, before it all went tits up). He paints a picture of an Ireland adjusting itself to a greater influx of tourists from all over the world. A land of stunning landscapes and unpredictable weather. And a people with their own unique attitude to life and how it should be lived (which boils down to "what's the rush?").
His prose is witty, warm and extremely readable. There is a great deal of affection for the country his parents came from, but he's still the Englishman outsider and it's that distance that makes his observations ring true.
This book really does have some laugh out loud moments, so if you're reading it in public, be prepared for some strange looks. I really enjoyed it....more
What can we say about Alan Partridge that hasn't already been said? True, most of it has been said by Partridge himself, but that's by the by. BestridWhat can we say about Alan Partridge that hasn't already been said? True, most of it has been said by Partridge himself, but that's by the by. Bestriding the nineties and noughties like a broadcasting behemoth, he has carved what can only be called a career through both Radio and Television, bringing his own special magic to both mediums.
In this book of words and pictures he tells his life story, from his birth to his current berth (see what I did there?) at North Norfolk Digital (Norfolk's Best Music Mix). His start at the Our Price instore radio (short-lived), Radio Norwich, his move to the BBC with On The Hour and on to his own chat show, Knowing Me Knowing You (aha!).
Of course there are lows as well as highs. The unfortunate death by shooting of guest Forbes McCallister. The run-ins with BBC Commissioning Editor Tony Hayes and the subsequent Christmas Special fiasco and failure to secure a second series. Then there is his battle with a debilitating Toblerone addiction.
But above all Alan is a fighter and has an unshakeable belief in his own genius. Modesty is not a word in his vocabulary. One thing is certain, there's only one Alan Partridge.
But seriously folks, this is a brilliantly written, extremely funny book. You can almost hear Partridge's voice in your head. Highly recommended....more